Where to Get Optical Breadboards?

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Deanimator
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Where to Get Optical Breadboards?

Post by Deanimator »

I've seen a number of people use optical breadboards as bases for macro rigs.

Most of the simple aluminum breadboards on Amazon appear to be out of stock, and have been for a while.

Does anybody know of a good place to get a simple aluminum breadboard at a good price, preferably in the USA?

Does anybody have any preferences as to dimensions?

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

Thor Labs has a good selection. I built my main setup from their Al base and Al rail which is bolted to the base. They have slider clamps that I mount my camera/lens to, and another I mount my subject position fixture to. These slider clamps can easily slide up and down the rail for getting things into position, then clamped firmly down to the rail. This yields a very rigid base which is easy to manipulate.

Thor is kind of expensive, but pays back in ease of use.

Best,

Mike

Deanimator
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Post by Deanimator »

mawyatt wrote:Thor Labs has a good selection. I built my main setup from their Al base and Al rail which is bolted to the base. They have slider clamps that I mount my camera/lens to, and another I mount my subject position fixture to. These slider clamps can easily slide up and down the rail for getting things into position, then clamped firmly down to the rail. This yields a very rigid base which is easy to manipulate.

Thor is kind of expensive, but pays back in ease of use.

Best,

Mike
I think that might have been one of the sources I saw in a Google search when Amazon didn't pay off.

Thanks a lot.

Deanimator
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Post by Deanimator »

What size do you recommend?

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

I have the following for my main setup base:

MB1236 1/2" thick Aluminum 12" by 36" base (1/4-20 taps) This might be back ordered, so I would get the 48" long version MB1248 if so.
XT95SP-1000 95mm One -Side Slide Rail 1000mm
XT95P11 95mm Drop On Rail Carrage (1/4-20 taps)
XT95P12 95mm Rail Plate (1/4-20 taps)
AV6 45mm Sorbothane Feet (1/4-20 threads)



My camera/lens is mounted to a Stackshot, WeMacro or modified THK KR-20 focus rail by a ARCA type adapter. The focus rail attaches directly to the XT95P11 sliding clamp carriage.This is a very sturdy fixture that allows the camera/lens assembly & focus rail to easily slide and be removed. I did have to drill and tap some holes in the carriage for the direct focus rail mounting for the various focus rails I use.

Best,

Mike

Davids
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Post by Davids »

Thorlabs is always great, though as mentioned prior they are a bit expensive. I purchased a board from Base Lab Tools and was very happy with their pricing, quick shipping, and overall quality of their product.

http://www.baselabtools.com

Deanimator
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Post by Deanimator »

mawyatt wrote:I have the following for my main setup base:

MB1236 1/2" thick Aluminum 12" by 36" base (1/4-20 taps) This might be back ordered, so I would get the 48" long version MB1248 if so.
XT95SP-1000 95mm One -Side Slide Rail 1000mm
XT95P11 95mm Drop On Rail Carrage (1/4-20 taps)
XT95P12 95mm Rail Plate (1/4-20 taps)
AV6 45mm Sorbothane Feet (1/4-20 threads)



My camera/lens is mounted to a Stackshot, WeMacro or modified THK KR-20 focus rail by a ARCA type adapter. The focus rail attaches directly to the XT95P11 sliding clamp carriage.This is a very sturdy fixture that allows the camera/lens assembly & focus rail to easily slide and be removed. I did have to drill and tap some holes in the carriage for the direct focus rail mounting for the various focus rails I use.

Best,

Mike
Thanks. That gives me the detail I needed.

johan
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Post by johan »

I don't know how much of a rush you're in, but if you're looking at this for the base of say a vertical rig, then if you can wait a week or two there's a manufacturer coming out with a really neat base, feet and vertical mounting arm for under £100 - combined! I'm betatesting one under NDA, but as soon as it's available I'll put up a post about it on my site.
My extreme-macro.co.uk site, a learning site. Your comments and input there would be gratefully appreciated.

Deanimator
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Post by Deanimator »

johan wrote:I don't know how much of a rush you're in, but if you're looking at this for the base of say a vertical rig, then if you can wait a week or two there's a manufacturer coming out with a really neat base, feet and vertical mounting arm for under £100 - combined! I'm betatesting one under NDA, but as soon as it's available I'll put up a post about it on my site.
Thanks for the information.

I'm more interested in a horizontal rig, but at that price, I can afford to have both.

I'm certainly in no rush, since I haven't been working since late April. Had an interview Monday and another Monday, so I may be buying equipment again soon.

jnh
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Post by jnh »

Aside from Thorlabs, there's also Newport, but their bread boards are rather expensive, as has been mentioned above. You could also look into www.baselabtools.com - decent quality boards and quite a bit more affordable.

Sager
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Post by Sager »

Thanks for the tip on http://www.baselabtools.com they have great prices! I own quite a few Thorlabs and they are great but the product range at Base Lab is even better...

I'm going to quote some custom sizes with them and see what they say.

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

johan wrote:I don't know how much of a rush you're in, but if you're looking at this for the base of say a vertical rig, then if you can wait a week or two there's a manufacturer coming out with a really neat base, feet and vertical mounting arm for under £100 - combined! I'm betatesting one under NDA, but as soon as it's available I'll put up a post about it on my site.
Hope to hear more about this Johan. Please post when your review is available and you can disclose the mfr...

nathanm
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Post by nathanm »

I too use Thorlabs, but it is good to have an alternative.

Ebay almost always has 2nd hand optical breadboards, and they are usually just fine.

BUT, I did have Ebay purchase for an optical breadboard that must have been used in biology lab for something gross. It stank of what I think must have been mouse urine. It cleaned up well, but it wasn't my finest Ebay purchase.
nathanm

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Post by Deanimator »

I just accepted a job offer, so I'm going to have money again.

What's the minimum size recommended for a basic rig?

I was just looking at Baselabs, and they do indeed have very attractive prices.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Sager wrote:Thanks for the tip on http://www.baselabtools.com they have great prices! I own quite a few Thorlabs and they are great but the product range at Base Lab is even better...

I'm going to quote some custom sizes with them and see what they say.
Be careful with Baselabtools. There is an old thread here somewhere where I describe a huge hassle with them. I ordered a board, it had to be made, then once they shipped it, they used a corrugated box without any protection at all. As you can guess, the box arrived damaged where the board punched through the box. They had to re-order the board for me again, so I had to wait, again! Eventually they shipped the second board professionally packed on a small skid.

Robert

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